Sunday, November 20, 2022

A Quiet Life

A Quiet Life by Ethan Joella
11/29/22; 304 pages

A Quiet Life by Ethan Joella is a very highly recommended heartbreaking and heartwarming literary novel following the lives of three people who have all suffered a terrible loss. Joella's first novel, A Little Hope, was on my list of best novels of 2021 and A Quiet Life is also an excellent novel.

In a Pennsylvania suburb, Chuck Ayers, Ella Burke, and  Kirsten Bonato are all experiencing tremendous grief and loss. Chuck's wife, Cat, has died and he is struggling with living without her. Ella is simply trying to survive by working constantly while hoping for information about her missing daughter. Kristen's father suddenly died and she has set aside her goals while working at an animal rescue center and trying to deal with the loss.

This is a beautifully written novel that you will cherish as you read each carefully crafted word and connect with these wounded souls who are trying their best to carry on while under a great emotional burden. Chapters alternate between the lives of these richly portrayed characters in heartbreaking narratives until their lives converge unexpectedly and emotionally.

A Quiet Life is very much a character driven novel. With empathy, hope, sympathy, and emotionally accessible language, Joella makes these character all realistic individuals you will care deeply about. All of them are portrayed as fully realized characters with great insight and realistic details. There is great comfort found in the journey these characters undertake and the healing they are slowly experiencing. In the end the encouragement to be there for someone are words that can speak to all of us.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Scribner via NetGalley.

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